Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Safe space

I finally found my safe space.




Found here as a T shirt

Friday, March 25, 2016

Republicans are advocating dictatorship

So there have been rumors for weeks that the Republicans are going to refuse to seat Donald Trump as the Republican nominee, no matter what the voters say.

"The media has created the perception that the voters choose the nomination. That's the conflict here," Curly Haugland, an unbound GOP delegate from North Dakota, told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Wednesday. He even questioned why primaries and caucuses are held.
In other words, the leadership of the Republican party only supports elections if the voters  select the proper candidate.

The plan involves delegates for Ted Cruz being the ones who are on the committee that sets the rules for the convention, and then using those rules to prevent Trump from getting the delegates he needs to win. This would trigger the brokered convention we have all been hearing about, which would mean that literally anyone (except Trump) could be the nominee. Seeing as how Ted Cruz has been caught in a few peccadilloes recently, it won't be Cruz, either. It looks like the establishment is pushing for Ryan.

As you can understand, this has Republican voters feeling angry and disenfranchised, with  seven in ten Republican voters saying that the election process is not working the way that it should.

As an independent voter, I can tell you that this really makes me angry. Whether or not you like Trump is irrelevant. Elections are supposed to mean that the majority decides. Once you publicly declare that elections don't matter, you have ceased being a democratic republic and have moved firmly into being a dictatorship. I cannot support, and will actively oppose, any attempt to subvert the system of free elections that this nation was founded upon.

Should the person who receives the most votes, whether that be Trump or anyone else, not get the Republican nomination through some sort of underhanded maneuvering, it will be time to admit that the Republican party no longer supports free elections. At that point, I would rather have Hillary in office than put that party of dictators in charge. I will either vote for Hillary or sit the election out.

For years, the Republicans have been telling us to select the lesser of two evils when voting. I will take that advice. This is nothing but a grab for the reins of power, elections be damned. I will not, and can not, support that. No matter what.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Winning

Today is a big day. My girlfriend, who is from New York, received her concealed weapons permit. To understand why this is such a big day, you have to see where she came from

When we first began dating, she was mildly anti gun, meaning that if you asked her, she would tell you that she didn't see a reason to own a gun, and certainly didn't see why a person needs to carry one. She pointed out that she took a 4,000 mile road trip across the US by herself, and if a woman can do that without needing a gun, a man certainly could.

Two months after we began dating, we were at a baseball game and a man in the crowd got belligerent. The police came over, and he decided that it would be a good idea to punch the cop. The cop did a leg sweep, and the drunken idiot's face hit the concrete so hard that I felt my seat shake and heard his face hit the ground from 30 feet away. After it was over, she was visibly shaken, and told me that she doesn't like violence, and it makes her sick to her stomach.

Because she was afraid of guns, I let her know that I carry, but I didn't advertise it. I also had to promise not to carry in her house. I would leave my weapon in the car.

Three months later, I convinced her to go to the range with me. I started her off shooting a .22 handgun. I find that the lack of recoil and relative quiet of the pistol are very non threatening. Once she fired that one a bit, I moved her to a suppressed 9mm. She was proud of herself, that she was able to hit inside of the 9 ring with more than 3/4 of her shots. I took photos of her and her target. She proudly put them up on Facebook. By this time, I had a drawer in her house where I kept my things. I would come into the house and immediately put my pistol in that drawer. She was OK with that. Baby steps.

The terrorist attacks in Paris were a turning point. We were on vacation in France when the attacks took place. When we saw the news of the shooting, she turned to me and said, "When we get home, I want to take the concealed weapons safety course, so I can apply for a concealed weapons permit."

She took that class in January. She went to the District Office on March 3. Her permit arrived today. Her mother has an appointment to apply for her permit next week. Her father is filling out an application as well.

In the space of two years, I converted three New Yorkers who have never owned a handgun their entire lives into gun owners with their own CCW. If each gun owner would just convince one person who is on the fence into being a gun owner, we will never have to worry about anti gunners again. Do it with a level head and the facts. Be patient. Rational people will see the truth, and with truth comes understanding. Fear cannot exist with rational understanding.

The score:

So far, I have convinced at least 7 people who were not gun owners to not only become  gun owners, but get their CCW. Three of them are now life members of the NRA.

That is how we win.


Ouch, that's gotta hurt

From Facebook:


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Arming teachers

Currently, there are twelve shall issue states where the law allows teachers with concealed weapons permits to carry weapons at school. How many shootings have taken place on campus while students were present in those states since those laws were passed?

Hypothesis:
Does allowing teachers who have concealed weapons permits affect the number of school shootings?

Methods:
I wanted to control the variables, so here is how I made sure that there were as few variables as possible:

Any shooting that happened before the law passed was excluded, as were shootings that took place while there were no students or teachers present (like nights and weekends), shootings by police officers where the subject who was shot was not armed, or shootings that took place off campus (such as the street in front of the campus). 

I also excluded shootings that occurred at colleges, because I think that college carry includes the possibility that students are carrying, and that is outside of the scope of what I wanted to study with this post.

These exclusions eliminated

I looked up each state, when the law arming teachers passed, and then looked up when and where school shootings took place.

This is what I found:

Ten states have armed teachers on campus, and have not had a single recorded school shooting since the law arming teachers was passed: Alabama, Kansas, Idaho, Montana, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming.

Mississippi(1) and Oregon (1) each had one shooting that fit the criteria.

Conclusion

Twelve states. Two shootings. We need to stop making decisions based upon "common sense" and on emotion, and instead look at the data. Look at what the facts are telling you. We know that the current scheme of "gun free school zones" isn't making our schools gun free or shooting free. Perhaps there is a better way.

Teachers have been finger printed and background checked.
People with concealed weapons permits have been fingerprinted and background checked.
In fact, teachers have been more thoroughly checked out than have police officers.
In the state of Florida, a police officer is required to demonstrate proficiency with a firearm by putting 32 out of 40 rounds on target in a certain set of conditions. So perhaps a teacher with a CCW permit who can pass the above test could carry a firearm on school grounds.

Here is that qualification test:
  • 4 rounds at less than 3 yards in 8 seconds from holster
  • 6 rounds in 3 seconds at 3 yards
  • draw and fire 6 rounds in 12 seconds at 7 yards
  • draw and fire 3 rounds in 5 seconds at 7 yards
  • draw and fire 12 rounds in 45 seconds with a mandatory reload at 7 yards
  • draw and fire 6 rounds in 30 seconds at 15 yards
A passing score is hitting the target 32 out of 40 times. A hit is any hit inside of the torso or head (4 or 5 zone) of a B21 target. The B21 target is a target designed for 25 yard shooting, and is being used here at ranges from 1 to 15 yards. It is difficult to miss.

For those of you who do not shoot, this is a pretty easy standard to meet, but if teachers could meet this standard and have a concealed weapons permit, what is the difference between a them and an armed school resource officer?



Nasty

Recently, a video surfaced of a contract employee at Disney mopping a table with the same mop that was being used to clean the floor. See for yourself:



During the mid 90's, I worked for the Disney company for about three months as one of the electricians who maintained the animatronic figures. We once had an employee management meeting where the executives told us that Disney's goal was to have no permanent, full time employees by the year 2010. The idea was that we would be replaced by contract workers who would be provided by subcontractors.

This would allow Disney to employ illegal immigrants with plausible deniability, as Disney can claim that they hired the subcontractor and didn't know that the employees of that subcontractor were illegals. They would save money through lower wages and not having to provide benefits. Under the ACA, this is even more attractive.

What you see here is a direct result of that policy. A contract employee has no pride in ownership

Monday, March 21, 2016

Trump

I am registered as an independent voter. I have not considered myself a Republican for years, mostly due to the fact that there is no functional difference between the two major parties. For that reason, I have to stake in the Trump versus Cruz, versus whoever race that the Republicans are so busy destroying their party over.

What I *do* have a stake in, is in deciding which candidate will get my vote, come November. My choice is apparently going to be Trump or Clinton. I really have little idea as where Trump truly stands on the issues, but I do know a few things:

1 Clinton is directly opposed to me and my political views in EVERY single case where I have an opinion.

2 Clinton and her supporters absolutely HATE Trump. they hate him so much that they are willing to commit violence to stop him.

3 Mexico has committed what is, in my opinion, an act of war in meddling in the internal affairs of this nation. This should be dealt with using sanctions and other means, if not by the current President, then by Trump himself, should he win the election.

While it is true that someone being an enemy of your enemy is not proof that they are your friend, it is also true that your enemy *is* your enemy, and it is better to vote for a temporary ally than it is your enemy. Anyone who is hated THAT much by the Republican establishment that brought us Romney and Christie, the Clintons, the BLM movement, the Press, and other assorted idiots cannot be ALL bad.

For that reason, I will gladly select Trump over Clinton, even without knowing how he will act once in office.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Violence in schools

This is what it is like to be a teacher in many of our schools. Behold the state of American public schools:

video


Why do teachers have to put up with this? Why aren't these ne'er do wells being expelled? What are the odds that this violent child will become a doctor?



Concealed weapons permit numbers

Last February 28th, there were 1,374,341 concealed weapons permits in the state of Florida. A year later, there are now 1,529,132 Florida concealed weapons permits. That is an eleven percent increase from just a year ago. The wait for a new permit is longer than the 90 days permitted by Florida law, but the backlog is due to the large numbers of applications that are being processed. One in 10.3 adults in the state of Florida have a concealed weapons permit.


My own permit expires this June, and I am going in to the licensing office this week to renew it.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Convention shenanigans

In support of my opinion that the powers that be select our politicians for us and our votes don't matter, I would like to point you to the 2012 Republican convention, held right up the street from me in Tampa.
During that convention, Mitt Romney's supporters wanted to change the rules for delegates in order to freeze out the delegates who wanted to vote for Ron Paul. When the rule change was voted on, Boehner declared that the rule change passed, and the Republicans were so convinced of the outcome of the vote, it was preprinted on Boehner's TelePrompTer.


There you have it. Since 2010, I have been saying this:

Just because the Democrats are your enemy does not make the Republicans your friends, and just because the Democrats are lying does not mean that the Republicans are telling the truth.

Both parties are incredibly corrupt, and blinded by money and power

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Cracks in opposition to SCOTUS

This right here is why voters are selecting Trump. When the Republican party cannot even oppose a lame duck President's election year SCOTUS appointment of a liberal anti-gunner, they have become indistinguishable from the Democrats.

Voters are fed up, and they are preparing to nuke the site from orbit.

It's the only way to be sure.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Record turnout

In Florida, there were no Presidential primaries before 1972. The turnout in primaries has been spotty at best, with voter turnout not being more than 45% since 1980, the year that Reagan was in the race. In fact, the last primary where there were candidates running in both parties was 2008, with a turnout of 42%.
This year, turnout is estimated to have been 46%. That is more remarkable, considering that Republican turnout was 103,288 in Orange County, putting Republican turnout at 51.3%. Democrat turnout was 104,441, putting Democrat turnout at only 35.8%.
Trump seems to be energizing the Republican base. Hillary does not.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Out of body experience

According to psychologists, scents are the most powerful of triggers for memory. This happens due to the anatomy of the brain: the olfactory bulb, which processes scents in the brain, is located right next to the amygdala and hippocampus, which are the parts of the brain that control emotion and memory. There are no other senses whose signals pass through these  parts of the brain. This means that the memories the we have that are attached to a particular scent are the most emotionally powerful memories that we have.

I have known this for years, but I got to experience it for the first time today. My fiance and I were shopping to buy me some new after shave, and she had me smelling different ones that had been sprayed on sample cards. I smelled one, and I had an immediate flashback. It was the most powerful and stunning memory that I have ever experienced.

A true out of body experience. In an instant, I was no longer standing in the store. I was standing in my boyhood home, I was 12 years old, and I was hugging my father. The smell of my father tickled my nose. The experience was complete: the smell, the sounds, the sights. I was once again a 12 year old boy who was hugging his father. My father has been dead for more than a decade.

I looked to my right at where I knew my fiance was standing, and I remember croaking out, "It's my father." Then I was back. the flashback was over, and it had only lasted for 2 or 3 seconds, but it was emotionally stunning. I broke out into tears, and it took me a minute or two to come to my senses and realize that it was not really happening. I left the store shaking.

This flashback was by far the most powerful memory that I have ever experienced, and it was all triggered by the smell of an aftershave. My fiance asked me if I wanted that one, and I told her no. I will be sure to avoid that one in the future.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

ATF rulings

In the spirit of our ongoing discussion about the ATF classification of AOW, and largely because I am bored because I cannot watch the news for fear of hearing election news, I wanted to touch base on some of the more outrageous rules that will have you run afoul of the NFA, mostly because ATF rulings can be confusing and arbitrary, to say the least.

There was a case where a man was accused of illegal possession of a machine gun for having an M-14 rifle that had been modified to make it into a semiautomatic rifle. The ATF agent testified that he was able to readily convert the rifle into a machine gun. Read on:

I examined (the firearm) and determined that it was originally manufactured as a machinegun by the Winchester Company in New Haven, Connecticut. (The rifle) can accept machinegun components and has machinegun components installed, but the engagement surface of the sear release has been removed, and the sear release has been welded to the selector shaft. In this condition, (the rifle) is functional as a semi-automatic firearm, but the machinegun parts have been locked in place by the welded sear release/selector shaft.
To determine if (the rifle) could be readily restored to shoot in an automatic manner, I used a multipurpose rotary tool with a cutting wheel to cut through the sear release. I then removed the sear release, selector shaft, and selector-shaft lock from (the rifle) and installed a sear release, selector shaft, selector spring, and selector from an M-14 machinegun.
The technician did not modify the receiver during all of reassembly, and then fired the gun to see if it would fire full auto. At that point, he wrote, "I discovered that the sear ... did not have an engagement surface for the sear release." So, he replaced the trigger group of the rifle with another trigger group which contained the sear with an engagement surface and eventually got the rifle to fire three rounds with a single press of the trigger.
The jury disagreed that replacing the entire fire control group fit the definition of "readily convertible" and found the man not guilty.The man's name was Albert K. Kwan




Teacher retention and turnover

Now that I am safely in my new job as a physics and chemistry teacher, I can share a few more facts about my old employer. I am still somewhat restricted for other reasons, but let me share:

 My old school has a very high turnover rate in the core subjects: Science, English, and Math.

There are 22 teachers in those subjects.

  • There are nine science teaching positions. In the two years since I was hired there, those nine positions have been filled with 17 different teachers. 
  • There are six math positions. During those same two years, those six positions have been filled with eight different teachers. 
  • There are seven English positions. During the past two years, there have been nine different teachers.  


22 classrooms filled with 34 teachers in the past two years. That equates to an annual turnover rate of 40% for core subjects, and a whopping 100% annual turnover rate in the Science department. There has not been a single Science teacher who has been there longer than 5 years and the average is less than two years.

Florida has a big problem retaining teachers. Average teacher turnover in the nation is 20 percent, with this school doubling that in the core subjects. Reading the link you can see that students getting teachers fired is not a problem that is unique to my previous employer.

High turnover is expensive. One study claimed that taxpayers in Florida paid out $130 million in additional costs due to the teacher retention problem.

As for me and my new job, I have my work cut out for me. My students have been with substitutes for the past two months, and are woefully behind. There are 60 school days left in the year, and I will be spending them trying to get my students caught up to where they should be and having to make up for them losing nearly a quarter of the school year's instructional time.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

AOW confusion

I posted the other day, asking if the Cell phone gun is an AOW. SiliconeGrayBeard asks this:

 I don't see why it would be an AOW. The bizarre shape? Foldable grip? I don't see why that's different than guns like the North American holster grip 22/22Magnum. I seem to have misplaced my copy of those rules, though.

The rules are arbitrary and stupid, as I posted about in this post here. The difference is that the North American Holster Grip pistol leaves the action and barrel exposed. In other words, it is obviously a handgun. What earns you a classification as an AOW is manufacturing a firearm that doesn't LOOK like a firearm. This is why Cane guns, pen guns, and previous cell phone guns have been declared to be AOWs.

When contacted, the company claims that it is not an AOW, and that they have classified the weapon as a pistol with a folding grip. The problem is that they do not have anything from the ATF stating that they agree with the manufacturer.

Some claims I read in comments made by the company on their Facebook page:

* working prototype expected in May 2016
* production hopefully begins July 2016, sales shortly after
* was originally conceived as a 3-barrel .22WMR, then changed to .32, then ultimately, .380 acp, which is what the production model will be
* they classify this as a pistol with a folding grip, which they say keeps it out of AOW territory


I think I'd like to see the ATF agree before dropping any money on one of these. I would hate to get a visit from the ATF after buying one.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

No wall needed to our north

This is what happened at a Toronto hockey game when the sound system cut out during the US National Anthem.








This is why we don't need to build a wall on our northern border.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Opinions needed

Is this device a handgun, or is it considered an "any other weapon" under the NFA? If it is an AOW, then I do not think that it is legal to carry, even with a CCW.


For the win

Who NOT to Vote For: Adam Carolla isn't going to tell you who to vote for. But he is going to tell you who NOT to vote for. And in a time when candidates running for office promise the moon, one of America's funniest comedians shares a few tips about how to spot the candidate that you should run from.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

2016: Year of Celebrity deaths

It seems like 2016 is the year of celebrity deaths. There are many names that I recognize who have passed on this year. The year is nor even a quarter complete, and it seems like many talented people are leaving us...

George Kennedy: Star in dozens of films
Tony Burton: Man who play Apollo Creed and Rocky Balboa's trainer in the Rocky series
David Bowie: Singer
Harper Lee: Author of To Kill A Mockingbird
Glen Frey of The Eagles
Alan Rickman
Natalie Cole
Craig Strickland of Backroad Anthem
Cara McCollum: Miss New Jersey 2013
Vanity: Singer from the 80's
Justice Scalia
Maurice White of Earth, Wind, and Fire Feb 3.
Abe Vigoda
Paul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane/Jefferson Starship/Starship
Richard Libertini
David Margulies
Pat Harrington Jr.
Wayne Rogers of MASH
Dan Haggerty – American actor, Grizzly Adams
George Gaynes, best known for his role as Commandant Lassard in the Police Academy movies
Joe Alaskey, voice of many Looney Toons characters
Otis Clay R&B legend

Sovereign citizens

This sovereign citizen movement is a group of people who believe that there is some magic pharse that exempts them from paying taxes or following laws. By wrapping it in a bunch of mumbo jumbo vocabulary words that sound vaguely like legal lingo, the claim that they are exempt from the laws that the rest of us have to follow. Here is a fine example of their ignorant rants, and how they turn out:





This officer has a LARGE amount of patience. You cannot debate these idiots, they will argue with you for hours.